The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed key approvals by state regulators of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project.
A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to affirm the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's decision to grant Enbridge key permits for the project, turning back a legal challenge by environmental and tribal groups.
"After six years of community engagement, environmental review, regulatory and legal review, it's good to see confirmation of previous decisions on the Line 3 Replacement Project," said Vern Yu, Enbridge Executive Vice President and President Liquids Pipelines.
Read More: How to find Line 3 Pipeline Jobs
"From the start, the project has been about improving safety and reliability for communities and protecting the environment."
More than 1,000 tribal and environmental activists gathered at construction sites near the headwaters of the Mississippi River last week to try to block the project.
The replacement project is finished in Canada, Wisconsin and North Dakota and construction is more than 60 percent complete in Minnesota.
The project is on track to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2021.
According to their website, the Line 3 Replacement Project will create 8,600 jobs (6,500 of them local) over a two-year period, including:
- 2,800 hospitality jobs (local)
- 4,200 construction jobs (half local)
- 1,600 jobs in other sectors, including suppliers and manufacturers (local)
Regional economic impacts:
The economic impact of this job creation includes:
- $334 million in payroll to workers (50% to local workers)
- $162 million construction-related gain for local economies, as a result of non-local workers in Minnesota